From Ignorance to Innocence 30

Thirtieth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Ignorance to Innocence by Osho.
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What is the place of surrender in your vision of a new religious consciousness?
I do not teach the ego, hence I cannot teach surrender, because surrender is nothing but the subtlest form of the ego.
Surrender is not against the ego, it is in fact an act of the ego. Who surrenders? And by surrendering, who becomes humble? Who becomes meek? It is the ego standing upside down. It makes no difference whether the ego is standing on its legs or on its head. In fact it is more dangerous when it is on its head because then you will not be able to recognize it.
Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek,” but what is meekness? “Blessed are the humble,” but what is humbleness? Can a man who has no ego be humble? How can he be humble? Who will be humble? A man who has no ego has no way to be meek or to be humble. He cannot be an egoist on the one hand; he cannot be a humble person on the other hand.
To teach surrender is to give you a strategy to hide your ego, to sublimate your ego. Yes, that’s the right word, sublimation. A Freudian word, very significant. You can sublimate anything, so much so that recognition becomes impossible. You may even start thinking that this is the very opposite of the original thing. Meeting a humble man you will feel how egoless he is – he also feels how egoless he is. The ego has come from the back door and now it is no longer condemned, but appreciated.
And why is a meek person, a humble person appreciated? That too is a strange story. He is appreciated because he fulfills everybody else’s ego. Just see the whole game of it. Why do you appreciate a humble person? – because being humble to you, he buttresses your ego. And because your ego is buttressed, you in response buttress his humbleness.
Now a vicious circle is created. He will become more and more humble because everybody loves his humbleness. He gains respectability, and everybody enjoys his humbleness because everybody is being satisfied by his humbleness – it is a deep satisfaction for the ego.
Yes, blessed are the humble and the meek because without them how are the egoists going to be contented? And when you say, “They shall inherit the Kingdom of God,” then naturally one is ready to do anything.
I want you to understand it clearly: ego and surrender are two sides of the same coin. I don’t teach the ego, so how can there be any place for surrender in my vision? I don’t teach you to be meek, I don’t teach you to be humble.
I teach you to be authentic, integrated individuals with immense self-respect. The word self-respect may create doubts in your mind because self-respect seems to again mean the ego. It is not so. You have to understand both words, self and respect; both are significant.
Self is that which you are born with. Ego is that which you accumulate; ego is your achievement.
Self is a gift of existence to you. You have not done anything to earn it, you have not achieved it; hence nobody can take it away from you. That is impossible because it is your nature, your very being.
Ego is all that you go on accumulating through education, manners, civilization, culture, schools, colleges, universities… You go on accumulating it. It is your effort, you have made it, and you have made it so big that you have completely forgotten your real self.
To know the real self is enough: the ego falls flat on the ground without any effort to surrender it. Unless the ego falls on its own, without your effort, it is not going to leave you. If you make effort to drop it, and that is what surrender is… All the religions teach surrender, hence I say they don’t understand even the very basics of psychology. Ego has not to be surrendered, it has to be seen. It has to be understood through and through.
That is the meaning of respect. It is one of the most beautiful words in the English language. It does not mean what it has come to mean: honor. No – respect simply means re-spect, to look again. That’s the literal meaning of the word; there is no place for honor. Just look again, look back, look deep. Spect means to see, look; re means again. Once, you had known it.
Before you entered and became part of a society, a culture, a civilization, you knew it. It is not a coincidence that people go on thinking that their childhood was the most beautiful part of their life. It is a long-forgotten memory, because there have been days in your life, the earliest days, which you cannot remember exactly; only a vague feeling, a kind of fragrance, a kind of shadow is there.
If you re-spect, if you look again and go deep into your existence, you are going to find the place from where you started losing yourself and gaining the ego.
That moment is a moment of illumination because once you have seen what the ego is, the game is finished.
So I cannot say to you, drop the ego, because that means I accept the reality of your ego. And how are you going to drop it – you are it. Right now, you are it. The self you have lost far away back in the past. There is a great distance between you and your self. Right now you are existing at the periphery of your self. That periphery is pretending to be your self. That pretender is the ego. Now telling the ego, “Drop! Surrender! Be humble!” is simply idiotic.

I used to go at least three or four times a year to Mount Abu in India. Mount Abu has one of the most artistic temples in the whole world. They are Jaina temples, Delwara temples. The carving in the marble is incomparable. When for the first time I went to Mount Abu, the priest of the Delwara temple came to invite me. I went with him to his office. The Delwara temple is a very precious temple, very ancient, and yet as fresh as if it had just been finished, just created.
Marble has that quality of freshness: for thousands of years it remains young, fresh, innocent. And Delwara temples are just marble and marble. The Taj Mahal is nothing compared to Delwara temples. The Taj Mahal is a simple structure, but Delwara temples are the artwork of thousands of artists, perhaps over hundreds of years. Each inch is carved.
In his office – and he had a beautiful office, because governors, governor – generals, and even George V, the king, had come to visit the Delwara temples. If you miss the Delwara temples you miss much of India, the India that was. Delwara has something of the past beauty and glory. So he had a beautiful office because he was continually receiving guests from foreign countries, prime ministers, presidents, kings, queens.
I went into his office. And in his office there was carved on the marble wall, a beautiful sentence, a statement from Mahavira. The statement is such that nobody could object to it, and nobody had ever objected. The priest was almost seventy years old and the priest’s forefathers, and their forefathers from generation to generation, had served the temple. The statement was simple. The statement was: “The humble man is respected universally. Be humble.”
But the reason you are given for being humble is that you will be honored universally. The whole statement of Mahavira is: “The king is honored in his own country, but the humble man is honored universally” – there are no boundaries to his honor. A king’s honor has boundaries – within his own kingdom. Beyond those boundaries he is nobody. But the humble person has no boundaries to his kingdom, the whole universe is his kingdom; he is universally honored.
But to whom is this idea going to appeal? The ego will immediately catch hold of it. That’s what the ego wants: to be honored universally! And if humbleness is the way, then okay, the ego is ready to be humble. If surrender is the way, the ego is ready to surrender.
People used to come to me and they would say, “We want to surrender to you.”
I would say, “But what will you surrender to me?”
And they would say, “It is such a simple thing – we want to surrender our ego.”
I would say, “That is okay, but what will I do with all these egos? You are tortured by one, I will be tortured by the thousands of egos you surrender to me. It is as if somebody comes and says, “I surrender my cancer to you.” Great surrender! You are obliging me? And how can you surrender your ego? Have you ever met it? Have you even seen it? Have you seen its subtle ways of movement, its workings? Do you know it? You don’t know it.”
I asked the priest, “Remove this sentence from this temple. Mahavira has no understanding about ego because what he is saying is an appeal to the ego. Yes, he will get people ready to surrender, ready to be humble, ready to be meek; but behind their meekness will be a sophisticated ego, far more dangerous than the ordinary raw quality of the uncultured ego, which can be easily traced to where it is.”

The sophisticated ego becomes more and more difficult to find. It becomes so subtle that it goes on slipping from your hands. And it becomes so clever at changing its faces. If it can change its face to meekness, humbleness, surrender, then what else do you want it to do? It is doing almost the impossible: it is pretending to be its opposite.
And the religions have been exploiting the idea; they say, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” Now, to inherit the earth… What more can your ego demand? And what more can your ego find? And this man is giving you a simple proposal: “Be meek, and the earth is yours.” It is a bargain! And you are not going to be the loser. What you are losing? – you are simply gaining. Karl Marx, in his most famous book, The Communist Manifesto, has a beautiful sentence at the end. With that sentence he concludes the communist manifesto. The sentence has some great insight in it. It says, “Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains.”
He is calling on the workers, the proletariat, the poor people of the world, the laborers, to unite, to fight for their rights, to rebel against the whole system of exploitation, because what have you got to lose except your chains? You don’t have anything else except your chains, so there is no need to be afraid of fighting. The other party has to lose. If you win, you gain. If you are defeated, you lose nothing, because you don’t have anything in the first place.
He was giving a great incentive. He thought that the revolution would happen first in America. He had never even dreamed that it would happen first in Russia. He must have been puzzled in his grave, almost shocked.
He had never thought that the revolution would happen in Russia, in China, in Poland, in Yugoslavia, in Czechoslovakia – those names had never occurred to him, could not have occurred to him. He thought the revolution would happen where capitalism had come to its peak, where the class division was perfect, where you could see the rich and the poor.
Marx forgot just one thing, and that changed the whole course of communism. He forgot that the American poor have something to lose. He forgot his own declaration. When he predicted that the revolution would happen first in America, he forgot completely that the American poor have something to lose. The Russian poor have nothing to lose, the Chinese poor have nothing to lose. The wonder of wonders is India! It has the poorest people in the world; you cannot conceive what they can lose, but no revolution has happened there.
In India it could not happen because the religious tradition is so deep that it has told the poor people, “You are the blessed people. Your poverty is just a test of your faith. All these small troubles are nothing before the blessings of paradise. This life is just a life consisting only of four days.”
That’s a proverb in India, that life is nothing but four days. Two days pass in desiring, the remaining two days pass in waiting. It is so small that half of it – while you are young, you have ambitions and desires to be someone, to be somewhere, to get your name carved for the coming generations – those two days pass in desiring. And the other half, when you start getting older, those two days pass in waiting for some miracle to happen and your desires to be fulfilled. This is all your life is: a soap bubble.
For this small life are you going to lose the blessings, eternal blessings of heaven? Be patient. Have faith. Your poverty is a God-given opportunity. If you can pass this fire test – which is not a long journey, just four steps – the doors of paradise open, and you will be received with bands and singing and dancing.
In India revolution seems to be impossible. It should have happened first in India, because what Karl Marx says has a truth in it. When you don’t have anything to lose, what is the fear of fighting, of rebelling, of risking?
I have told this ancient story many times, but each time that I have told it I have loved it more…

A master is going from one place to another with his chief disciple. They have to cross a jungle. The disciple is puzzled because the master says, “Move a little quicker, we have to pass through the jungle fast. The sun is coming down and soon it will be night.”
The disciple has been with the master for many years and the master has never been afraid of the night. He has never been in such a hurry. Moreover, he is keeping a bag hanging from his shoulder. He is clutching that bag, and once in a while he puts his hand inside and feels something there, and then looks at ease.
The disciple was very puzzled: what is the matter? What is he carrying in the bag that he is so afraid? But the path was long, and although they were almost running, in the middle of the jungle the night came. The disciple saw for the first time the master trembling, almost in a nervous breakdown.
He said, “What is the matter? We have been in jungles many times, and we have stayed in jungles. We are sannyasins – we have renounced the world. Even if a wild animal comes and eats us, there is nothing much to be worried about. One day one has to die. There will always be some excuse – about some disease, wild animals, some enemy. And it does not matter when one dies; what matters is how one dies. And you know and I know how to die. So why be afraid?”
But the master is no longer in a state to listen to him. They stop at a well, and the master says, “I am tired and thirsty so let’s pull up some water so we can wash our faces and drink some water and do our prayer: the prayer that is done at sunset.” In his nervousness he even forgot that the sun had already set.
He gave the bag to the disciple and told him, “Be careful with the bag.”
The master went to pull water from the well. This was the chance the disciple had been waiting for, to look into the bag to find out what was the matter. He opened the bag and found what the matter was – the master was carrying a brick of solid gold. Now he knew what the fear was. It was not death, it was not wild animals, it was not the night – it was robbers, thieves. This gold brick was the cause.
So he took out the brick, threw it away in the jungle, found a stone of the same size, weighing almost the same, and put it in the bag. And when the master was back, the first thing he did was take away the bag. It was as heavy as before – the brick was inside.
They started walking again, faster than before. The disciple said, “Now there is no need to go so fast.”
The master said, “What do you mean?”
He said, “I have thrown away the cause of fear, long ago.”
The master said, “The cause of fear? How can you throw away the cause of fear?”
He said, “You can look in your bag.”
The master took out the stone. He said, “My God! You have thrown away my gold brick. Now there is no need to rush, we can stay here the whole night.” And they stayed in the jungle.
In the morning the master thanked the disciple: “You did right. Because I had something to lose, there was fear. When there was nothing to lose, there was no point in the fear. I slept such a beautiful sleep. With that brick I could not have slept the whole night. At least a dozen times I would have touched the brick and felt whether it was still there or gone. But you did the right thing.”

When you have something to lose, there is fear. That’s why in America the revolution has not happened, and is not going to happen – because America has really rich people and poor people, but the poor are almost in the same position as the middle classes in poor countries. The middle class never revolts because it has something and it can hope for more; it can invest for more, it can desire, be ambitious, wait. So of course the middle class can never go into revolution. Who knows? – you may lose even that which you have got.
America has two classes, the middle class and the rich class, hence there is never going to be a revolution. In Russia it happened, in China it happened, because they were class-divided societies with clear-cut divisions. Now, in India ninety-five percent of the people have nothing to lose. Four percent of the people, the middle class, have a little bit to lose. One percent of the people, the super-rich, have much to lose.
But in India the revolution has not happened in five thousand years. Religion is the cause: it goes on giving you the whole of paradise, for nothing. Why bother about the revolution? What are you going to gain? Rather, be patient, prayerful, faithful; surrender to God and you will have everything.
Jesus says to the poor people that it is possible for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, but it is not possible for a rich man to pass through the gates of heaven. I don’t believe it. This is simply a consolation. This is poison, pure poison. There is every possibility that the rich man will get through the gates of heaven. He may bribe the gatekeeper – and if the gatekeeper is Indian, there is no problem.
And the rich man, whom Jesus says cannot pass through the gates of heaven, has done everything to be qualified to get through the gates of heaven. He has made synagogues, temples; he has been donating to the poor, giving charity, making hospitals, schools. What are the poor doing? Do you think just being poor is a qualification?
At the gates of heaven will you be just saying, “Because I was poor, I claim… And where is that guy Jesus who said, ‘Blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit the Kingdom of God’?” You won’t find Jesus there either. He himself was poor – who will allow him to enter heaven? There is no possibility.
Poverty is not a qualification for anything.
The rich man will find a thousand and one ways. All the priests will be there to support the rich man. All the scriptures will be there to support the rich man – because they were all created by the money of the rich man. The priests have lived off the money of the rich man. Even God is the creation of the rich man to befool the poor. And you think the poor will enter heaven?
In fact, there is no heaven. It has been created to give hope to the poor, to give consolation, to titillate their greed – using simple methods which the poor can afford, like being humble. In fact, what else can he do? His poverty has humiliated him enough and now you are saying, “Be humble.” No, I cannot say that. I cannot humiliate anybody. And this teaching is nothing but a strategy to make peace with his humiliated state.
You have been humiliated by everybody, you have been trodden on by everybody, you are crushed by everybody – and then comes the priest to give you the opium: “Don’t be worried, my son, this is just a passing phase. If you remain humble and surrendered, everything is going to be okay for you. And these rich people who are treading all over you – they will be thrown into hell.”
And this priest lives on the money of the rich. He knows there is no hell. The rich know there is no hell, there is no heaven, that this is a strategy for the humiliated to be consoled. No, I am not at all in favor of surrender.
My religion has no place for surrender. It teaches you integrity. It teaches you individuality. It teaches you selfhood. It teaches you self-respect. And the magic of self-respect is that the moment you start searching for yourself, you will come across many shadowy selves, all phony. And it is not difficult to see what is phony because anything that you come across is phony. A simple criterion: anything that you find within you and think, “This is my self,” know well that it is phony.
It is the finder who is the true one, not the found. The found is just the object that you have achieved and accumulated. Discard all those selves that you go on finding within you: “This is the self… No, this is the self…” Go on discarding them. A simple criterion, there cannot be a simpler criterion: anything that you find as your self is not your self.
Go on discarding, and a moment comes when you cannot find any self anywhere. You cannot find anything – all is empty. And that is the moment of awakening. Suddenly the seer is seen.
You are awakened to your own awareness.
You don’t find an objective self, you find a subjectivity, and finding it is such a blessing, such an ecstasy that you will not care a bit about paradise. And you will not be bothered any more about surrendering because there is nothing to surrender. You have discarded all that was phony, that was only pretension.
You have been told you are this, you are that, and you have accepted it. You have started playing the game of being this and being that, and nobody has told you – nobody can tell you – who you are. It is only you who can discover it. In discovering it, the ego evaporates. It is not surrendered, because it is a nonexistential, a shadowy thing, it has no substance in it.
A famous incident…

One of the kings, Bimbisara, came to Buddha. That day a rare thing had happened. A poor man, a shoemaker, Sudas was his name… Sudas means a good slave, a nice slave, a slave who has no ideas of rebellion, of revolt or anything, who is absolutely contented with his slavery. He had a small hut and a small pond behind the hut.
That day, in his pond a lotus flower blossomed out of season. Once in a while things like that happen in nature. It’s nothing to brag about, nothing to make a miracle out of. Sudas asked his wife, “I should take this to the richest man in the town because he goes every day to Gautam the Buddha, and he will be delighted. And at least he is going to give me one rupee as a reward.”
The wife said, “Go, be quick – he may be leaving.”
He went out on the road and found that the chariot of the richest man was coming, going toward the mango grove where Buddha was staying. He stopped the rich man and said, “Out of season a rare lotus flower has blossomed in my pond, and I thought it would be good if you could present it to your master, Gautam the Buddha.”
The rich man was really happy. He said, “Of course, because even my master will be surprised to see it. This is not the season for lotuses. I will give you one thousand rupees as a reward.”
The poor Sudas could not believe it – one thousand rupees! In those days rupees were solid gold. In fact the word rupee comes from the Sanskrit word rup, which means gold, pure gold. The coins were pure gold – one thousand gold coins! The poor man said, “Please say it again, I cannot believe my ears.”
The rich man thought that perhaps he was not willing to sell for one thousand rupees. He said, “Don’t be worried: I will give you ten thousand, or you can ask and whatever you ask I will give you, because I would love to put this rare flower at Buddha’s feet; perhaps nobody has ever presented such a thing to him.”
Sudas was so shocked, he lost his voice. He could not say, “Yes, ten thousand is enough.”
And the rich man said, “Why are you silent? Are you not willing?”
While this negotiation was going on another chariot, the chariot of King Bimbisara, came by. Seeing the lotus flower, the king stopped and said to Sudas, “Sudas, whatsoever the rich man is going to give to you, I will give you five times more. Whatever he is giving, just come to the palace and collect five times more.”
Sudas was almost on the verge of falling dead. The rich man was giving ten thousand, and he was willing to give even more. And now comes the king who says, “Five times more, whatever!” – he is not even inquiring. Kings are kings, they should not inquire the prices of things. And of course in front of the king the rich man could not say anything. He knew well that whatsoever he says, the king will give five times more. He had lost it.
The king asked Sudas… Sudas opened his mouth and said, “Forgive me, but if this flower gives you so much pleasure, just presenting it to Buddha – then I am going to present it myself. You can keep your money.
The king could not believe it. The rich man could not believe it. They both said, “What are you saying?”
He said, “I am a poor man, but I manage to live. What am I going to do with all your money? But I am not going to miss this chance that you think is so precious. I am going to put this flower at Buddha’s feet myself.”
But kings cannot be denied. The king said, “Then you should be aware that you will never reach Buddha; your head will be cut off. I will give you ten times.”
Seeing the situation, the poor man had to give the lotus to the king. The king was already going with a very precious diamond to present to Buddha. That diamond that Bimbisara had was the biggest diamond known in those days. Now he had two presents. When he went to Buddha, both hands were full; in one a very precious diamond, in the other a very rare flower. Which to present first? – of course he thought of the diamond.
As he was going to place the diamond, Buddha said, “Drop it!” He did not give him the chance to put it at his feet, he said, “Drop it.” And when Buddha says drop it, he has to drop it – unwillingly, reluctantly, because such a precious diamond… In the whole country, all the kings were jealous of the diamond – he was the owner of a rare piece – and Buddha says, “Drop it!” He is not even giving him the chance to put it at his feet.
Then he raised the other hand with the flower, and Buddha said, “Drop it!” So he dropped both and stood there empty-handed.
Buddha said, “Drop it!”
Bimbisara said, “Either you are mad or I am mad. Both my hands are empty – now what can I drop?”
Sariputta, one of Buddha’s disciples, said, “You have not understood Buddha. He is not interested in your diamond or in your lotus; you can take them away. Drop the real thing.”
“What real thing?” he said. “I have only brought two things.”
Buddha said, “Drop yourself!”
“But,” Bimbisara said, “myself? I don’t know who I am.”
Buddha said, “That was the point. Go home, find out, and when you find out who you are, then come back.”
It was very insulting in a way. In front of ten thousand sannyasins – and Bimbisara is told to go back and look into himself and find out who he is. But he was a man of tremendous courage, intelligence, integrity. He told the palace, “Nobody should disturb me. Whatsoever time it takes, I am going to find what this man says.”
For three days he remained in isolation. The fourth day he came out, radiant, and went to Buddha. And when Buddha saw him, Buddha said, “Now there is no need to drop anything because what you have found cannot be dropped. I can see it on your face, in your eyes. I was telling you to drop that which you were not.”

But you cannot drop it unless you find who you are. And the moment you find who you are there is no need to drop it, it simply drops of its own accord.
Let me repeat your question. You asked me: “What is the place of surrender in your religion?” From my side, there is no place.
I do not ask you to surrender. I ask you to seek and search your being. Surrender will happen, but it will be a happening, not a doing. Neither I will ask you for surrender nor have you to do it. But what I am asking you to do, if you do it, surrender is going to happen. And when it happens of its own accord then it is a totally different phenomenon, qualitatively different. Then it is not ego pretending to be humble and meek and surrendered. Then it is a state of no-ego.
The ego disappears in a very simple way. It is just like you are doing some arithmetic and for two plus two, you put five. Somebody draws your attention to the fact that two plus two are four, not five, and you see the point. Do you have to drop five? Will it take effort to drop five? – struggle, austerities, fasting? You simply erase it. It was just a mistake, and you will write four.
The ego is just a mistake – just like two plus two is equal to five. Just like that, when you look inward and search for the real self, you come to know that two plus two is four, not five. Nothing has to be dropped, but something has disappeared from you. Something that was continuously pretending to be your self, something that was destroying your whole life, something that was messing up everything is found no more.
When the ego is not found, I call that surrender from your side; it is not part of my religion. I will not ask you to surrender, but I will ask you something else which brings the surrender of its own accord. But then you are not humble, you are not meek, you are very grounded, very centered, very self-respectful. And only a man who is self-respectful is capable of respecting others.
The man who respects himself cannot humiliate anybody else, because he knows that the same self is hidden in every being, even in the trees and the rocks. Perhaps it is fast asleep in the rock, but that doesn’t matter; it is the same existence in different forms.
A man who respects himself suddenly finds himself respecting the whole universe.
He cannot humiliate anybody, he cannot be disrespectful to anybody.
But remember – he is not humble, he is not meek; you cannot exploit him in the name of meekness and humbleness. He will not allow you to put him in a position of humility, and he will not care about your Kingdom of God.
He will say, “You can go to your Kingdom of God. I have found my Kingdom of God; it is within me. I don’t need any messiah to take me to the kingdom of God, all I need is an inner search. Except me, nobody else can do it. I am responsible for losing my self; I have to be responsible for finding it.”
The truly religious man is difficult to understand because he will not fall into any category of yours. Your categories are opposites: arrogant-humble… Now where can you put a religious man? Arrogant? – he is not arrogant. Humble? – he is not humble. He is simply himself.
A religious man cannot be categorized. All your categories fall short. He is beyond all your categories, hence he is bound to be misunderstood.
I am not an arrogant man; I am not humble either. But then the question arises, where do I stand? I don’t even stand in the middle of both because that will be just half and half, something of arrogance and something of humbleness. No, I don’t even stand in the exact middle. That’s where I disagree with Gautam Buddha. He teaches to be always in the middle: don’t be arrogant, don’t be humble, just be in the middle. But I say: exactly in the middle you will be something of both.
No, the really religious man is beyond the categories of opposites. You cannot categorize him. He is neither on this pole nor on that pole. He is not in the middle either; he is just above.
He is a watcher on the hills, and everything else is deep in the valley. Nothing touches him.
So sometimes you can interpret him as arrogant, sometimes you can interpret him as humble, but those are your interpretations. As far as his own experiences are concerned… And I can say it with my authority, I do not need any scriptures to support me. I am not arrogant, I have never been arrogant; I have never been humble either. I have been just myself. So whatever the situation demanded, I acted, responded, neither with humbleness nor with arrogance, but just whatsoever the moment needed – with awareness.
Hence my teaching is in a way very simple if you can see the point.
If you miss the point it is very difficult.
I will not say to you to turn your other cheek if somebody hits you, no. Jesus can say it because he teaches humbleness. I cannot say that. I can only say one thing: let that moment decide. Sometimes perhaps you have to turn the other cheek. Sometimes perhaps you have to hit the man harder than he has hit you. Sometimes perhaps you have to hit him on both cheeks – but nothing can be given to you as a ready-made formula. It will depend on you, the person, the situation.
But act with awareness, then whatever you do is right.
So I don’t label acts as right and wrong. To me, the quality of your awareness is decisive. If you can respond with awareness, then whatever your response is, I declare it right. If you lose your awareness and react, then whatever you do – you may be turning the other cheek – is wrong. Do you see I have used two different words? With awareness I used the word response; with unawareness I used the word reaction.
Response comes from yourself.
Reaction is created by the other man: he has hit you. He is the master of the situation, and you are simply a puppet. You are reacting. His action is decisive, and because he has done something, now you are doing something in reaction. This is the unconscious man’s behavior. That’s why the unconscious man’s behavior can be manipulated very easily. You smile, he will smile. You be angry, he will be angry.
It is because of this that people like Dale Carnegie can write books like How to Win Friends and Influence People. All that you have to know is simple reactions. He himself describes a situation…

He was functioning as an agent of an insurance company. And there was a rich woman, the richest in the town, , who was very much against insurance, and insurance agents; so much so that insurance agents could not even see her – just from the gate they were thrown out. Her orders were, “Throw them out!” No question of an appointment…
And when he came to the city, all the other agents said, “You have written this book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, now, if you can insure this old lady we will think that you have something to say, otherwise it is all hocus-pocus.” Dale Carnegie managed to insure the woman. How did he do it? A simple method.
Early in the morning he went around the woman’s house. She was in the garden. Standing outside the fence, he said, “I have never seen such beautiful flowers.”
The old woman said, “Are you interested in roses?”
He said, “How did you know? I am mad about roses; the only flower that attracts me is the rose.”
The woman said, “Why are you standing outside? Come in. I will show you my roses. I am also mad about roses, and you will not come across such big rose flowers as I have got.” And he was invited in. They went around her big garden, full of beautiful roses. And he was all praise, and all the poetry that he knew… The woman was so immensely impressed that she said, “You seem to be such a wise man that I want to ask you one question. What do you think about insurance?” – because she was tortured by these insurance agents continually, and they were being thrown out.
He said, “For that I will have to come again because I will have to think it over and do a little research on it. I never advise anybody unless I am certain.”
The woman said, “That is right. You are the first man who is not too eager to advise. That is the sure sign of a fool: too eager to advise.”
He said, “No, I will have to look at the whole matter. Perhaps it will take a few days.” And during those few days he used to come every morning and stand outside the fence.
And the woman said, “Now there is no need to be standing out there – I have told all the servants that for you the doors are open twenty-four hours a day. Whenever you want to come into the garden, you can come. If you want to come into the house, you can. It is your house, don’t be shy.”
And within a few days he came with all the forms, the files and everything. He said, “I have worked out the whole thing. In fact I had to become an agent of an insurance company to find out absolutely all the details, the inside story, because from the outside you cannot know much. Now I am absolutely certain that this is the thing for you.”

Now, this is the way the whole of humanity functions: reaction. You just do something that you know how the other unconscious being is going to react to. And it is very rare that an insurance agent will meet an awakened man, a rare possibility. In the first place the awakened man will not have anything to be insured. Only with the awakened man will Dale Carnegie fail, because he will not react, he will respond. And about response you cannot be predictable.
The man of awareness is unpredictable because he never reacts. You cannot figure out beforehand what he is going to do. And each moment he is anew. He may have acted in a certain way in a certain moment. The next moment he may not act in the same way because in the next moment everything has changed.
Every moment life is continuously changing. It is a moving river; nothing is static except your unconsciousness and its reactions, which are static.

I was expelled from one college – I was expelled many times. I loved it, I enjoyed it; I am not complaining. I have no complaint against anything in my life. Everything has been tremendously beautiful. That expulsion was also beautiful. I had to search for a new college, but before I could be admitted I somehow had to persuade the principal, because the whole city knew – there were twenty colleges – the whole city was aware that I was continually being expelled from one college to another.
I have been educated in many colleges. People ordinarily for one degree go to one college; for one degree I have gone to a dozen colleges. For two or three months at the most they were able to withstand me. So I went to the principal’s house, not to the college. I inquired about him from the neighbors, what kind of man he was. They said, “Very religious; every morning… He is a follower of the goddess Kali.” He himself was a very strong man, black – kali means black – very tall and very fat. He never needed any microphone, there was no need; he could address ten thousand students without any loudspeaker system.
So the whole neighborhood told me, “Early in the morning for two hours, three hours, he is such a nuisance because he just continues, ‘Jai Kali! Jai Kali! Jai Kali!’ – and you know the man and his voice!” “Jai Kali” means victory to the mother goddess Kali. “And he gets so agitated that he gets louder and louder. First he starts by sitting, and then he stands up. And he almost looks like Kali himself.”
Kali is a very ugly goddess, a very ugly woman with four hands, with a necklace of human skulls. With one hand she is holding a head, freshly cut off, blood dropping from it; in another hand, a sword. And she is standing on her husband’s chest! – a real woman. The world needs such women.
So I inquired about everything, and then I went early in the morning at six o’clock and he was doing his thing, and really he was hot! He had a small temple in his house. I simply went in and sat there by the side. When he was just coming to the end of it I started, “Jai Kali!”
He looked around and he said, “Who are you?”
I said, “Don’t disturb me,” and I started again: “Jai Kali!”
He said, “But this is strange. For the first time – and you are so young. Are you a devotee of Kali?”
I said, “What do you think? Do you think you are the only devotee of Kali in this city?”
He said, “I used to think that nobody was such a devotee as I am, but you certainly seem to be!”
I said, “No, not compared to you. You are far ahead. You are almost a saint; I am just a beginner, an amateur.”
He said, “No, you are not an amateur! What do you do?” He wanted to talk and he pulled me along: “Come with me, have breakfast.” So I had breakfast with him. He said, “You are the only man who has understood me – when you said, ‘You are almost a saint…’ Nobody thinks me a saint, they think that I am a monster. And these neighbors would kill me if they could manage, but knowing me they are afraid, they are cowards. You are the only man in my whole life who has understood me. What do you do?”
I said, “I study in a college.”
He said, “Drop that college. Join my college.”
I said, “If you say so, I can drop anything. Dropped! Done!” And I joined his college.
After a few days he came to know. Then he called me and said, “You are a rascal.”
I said, “You should have understood, even on that day. You are not a saint either, but I wanted admission. What else to do?”

Unconscious people are predictable. You can manage them easily. You can make them do things, say things, even things that they never wanted to do or never wanted to say, because they react.
But a man of awareness, an authentically religious man only responds. He is not in your hands; you cannot pull him down, you cannot make him do anything. You cannot manage to draw out even a single sentence from him. He will do only that which in that moment he finds – through his awareness – is appropriate.
Yes, surrender happens. But remember, in my religion there is no place for “doing” surrender. Surrender is not expected of you, it is not asked from you, but it happens. I am simply making you aware of it. And when it happens nothing can be done about it. But the happening is so graceful and beautiful it does not leave any trace behind it.
The ego simply evaporates and you are left without ego – neither humble nor arrogant, just without ego.
You cannot even say, “I am egoless,” because there is no longer an “I” to declare it; there is only a kind of am-ness, there is no “I” in it. The “I” goes with the ego.
Am-ness remains with your existence and becomes really a tremendous force, changing everything that you have been before.
It cuts you from your past.
It gives you a new birth.

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